Random House plans to sublet as many as nine of its 24 floors at U.S. headquarters in New York City--or about 250,000 of 645,000 square feet--the Wall Street Journal
Random House spokesperson Stuart Applebaum estimated the savings as "in the millions of dollars." He told the paper, "We're in the book business, not the real-estate business. We'll reinvest our savings into our publishing."
The publisher has a vacancy rate of 30%, the result of layoffs in the past several years. Still, more than 1,000 people are employed in the building. The company aims to lease higher floors first, starting with "the senior corporate executive floor on 25."
Bertelsmann built and sold 1745 Broadway in 2003 and now leases its space there. The 24 floors above Random House is an apartment complex.
A Yogurt Mountain store has opened inside a Books-A-Million location in Concord, N.C., near Charlotte, the first such Yogurt Mountain inside a BAM. The new Yogurt Mountain, BAM said, "provides shoppers with the option to enjoy a sweet treat while they browse bestsellers, games, toys, puzzles and magazines."
Yogurt Mountain, which franchises and operates self-serve frozen yogurt stores, has four locations in Alabama and North Carolina and was founded in 2009. Earlier this year, BAM made an investment in the company of a $3 million payment and a $1.5 million line of credit (Shelf Awareness, April 18, 2010).
Concerning Thursday's New York appeals court ruling reinstating Amazon's and Overstock's 2008 lawsuit against a state law forcing them to collect sales tax (Shelf Awareness, November 5, 2010), ABA CEO Oren Teicher said that the decision "has upheld what we have long contended--namely, that online affiliates are sales agents and, as such, represent a physical presence in the state that requires such companies as Amazon.com to collect sales tax. The court's ruling clearly and succinctly makes this clear. We fully expect this decision to have significant and positive impact on our efforts in other states. We could not be more pleased with the court's decision."
The case was sent back to lower court, which the appellate court requested obtain more information about the companies' sales in New York.
Amazon.com is expected to pay about $500 million and assume $45 million in debt and liabilities to buy Quidsi, parent company of Diapers.com and Soap.com, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Quidsi reportedly had sales of $180 million last year and expects sales of $300 million this year.
Sam Husain, the CEO of Foyles in London who proudly told the Independent
that he probably has never read a book "cover to cover," also proudly noted that in the year ended June 30, Foyles earned £434,588 (about US$730,366) on sales of £23.1 million (US$38.8 million). Sales grew 1.9% while sales at stores open at least a year rose 9.7%.
Foyles also just opened its fifth store, Foyles Booktique, at Land Securities' One New Change shopping mall on Cheapside in the City. Next week it is launching a new website.
"I knew nothing about this business when I took over," Husain, a Pakistan-born accountant who previously worked in TV post-production for Ascent Media, told the Independent
. "But I brought with me good business practices."
Husain emphasized that the store's plan to restore profitability at the was already underway when he arrived. "When I joined, we had a three-year plan to get Foyles into profit, which meant getting the right structure, the right people and the right managers on the shop floor," he said. "My task was to get it into sustainable profit mode and to make sure the product was relevant. There is much more sharing of information about the company's profit performance with the managers now, which helps them to identify the key drivers for the business."
Congratulations to Cinco Puntos Press
, El Paso, Texas, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary. The press has "a national reputation with librarians, educators and retailers," Julie Schaper, president of Consortium Book Sales and Distribution, Cinco Puntos's distributor, told the El Paso Times
. "Their focus on bilingual books for children is well known. They are also respected for their mission to do books that explore border-related issues."
Bobby Byrd, who founded the press with his wife, Lee, said, "More than anything, Cinco Puntos not only celebrates El Paso but the U.S.-Mexico border as a way of seeing the rest of the world. One thing that was astounding to us was the intellectual and artistic community here, which is very rich but was not really respected in the rest of the Southwest because it was mostly Mexican-American."
Lee Byrd said, "People don't realize we're one of a handful of publishers in the United States that do multicultural literature because we're here and not in New York, where everyone is so intensely competitive, and because we haven't always known what we were doing. We sort of just plunk along, just follow our own instincts about things."
Congratulations to Paul Harding, Bellevue Literary Press and Consortium (and Michele Filgate): Tinkers, Harding's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, has shipped more than 250,000 copies and is back on the New York Times and other bestseller lists. Harding is touring this fall and into the new year.
A memorial service for Larry Ashmead, who died on September 3, will be held tomorrow, Tuesday, November 9, from 4-5:30 p.m. at St. Bartholomew's Church at 325 Park Avenue (at 51st) in New York City. Reception follows at Inside Park, the restaurant contained within the church.
Book trailer of the day: Stranger Here Below by Joyce Hinnefeld (Unbridled Books).
Despite Friday's announcement by Joseph-Beth Booksellers that stores in Pittsburgh and Charlotte are closing (Shelf Awareness, November 5, 2010), the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review wrote that "it's too soon to write off the independent bookseller, say those in the industry."
not drawing any conclusions from the Joseph-Beth announcement," said
Meg Smith of the American Booksellers Association. "It's a tough
economy, but we're also seeing companies that are doing quite well."
The Tribune-Review noted that Penguin Bookshop,
Sewickley, is up 14% compared to 2009, according to general manager
Maryanne Eichorn. "We've been gaining all year long," she said. "October
was our best non-holiday month since we reopened in September 2008....
We have a loyal customer base and work hard to play a role in the
community." And Bradley's Books, which specializes in publisher
overstocks and remainders, doubled its store count this year by opening
four stores in the Pittsburgh area.
We Love DC
showcased its five favorite bookshops because "there remains a vibrant
community of book retailing in the Washington area. It may help that we
are a very educated, literate group of people, of course." The
bookstores featured were Books for America, Red Onion Records & Books, Capitol Hill Books, Bridge Street Books and Politics & Prose.
Oh, that Neil Gaiman! Here's
a brilliant Twitter exchange between Neil Gaiman and a " 'midwestern
momma' named April Roller," who thought Gaiman's account belonged to
actor Neil Patrick Harris. "What happened next may have single-handedly
legitimized the existence of Twitter for all eternity," the Daily What observed.
The Motley Fool recommended "5 Books You've Got to Read": The Science of Fear by Daniel Gardner, Rework by Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson, The Rational Optimist by Matt Ridley, The Forgotten Man by Amity Shlaes and Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition by Daniel Okrent.
Book DIY of the day: Craft featured a project from Dany Seo's Simply Green Parties that shows you how "to transform a plain craft store birdhouse into a whimsical decor piece, using a children's book."